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Make your meetings move: Re-ignite their passion for service

Follow your passion.
Do what you love.

This is frequently career advice to the undecided. But it’s only helpful if you know what you love, if you’ve discovered your passion.

For me, and thousands of others, that’s easy: My passion is serving others.

I need to be needed. I’m energized after having spent hours on my feet organizing the shelves of a food pantry or delivering meals to the elderly. Sure I’m tired, but it’s a satisfied tired. My desire to serve doesn’t die like a flame without oxygen because it’s ignited by passion.

But for those projects where the outcome isn’t so obvious, I do need regular reminders of how my time benefits others.

Members of Kiwanis clubs have a passion for serving others. But sometimes we find ourselves going through the motions rather than feeling passionate. Especially on projects where the benefits aren’t so obvious.

The following activities will help members rediscover their passion, refocus their energy and remember why they joined. Take a break from your regular club meeting to remind them why they’re members.

1- Personal timelines

Time: 20–30 minutes

Purpose: Promote leadership



Distribute blank sheets of legal-size paper or flipchart paper and markers to each member.

Ask everyone to draw a personal timeline, recording the major leadership events in their lives. Ask them to think about the ways they have served or acted as a leader. Special emphasis should be placed on community-service activities, whether through Kiwanis or informally (such as volunteering to be a meal server at a shelter).

When each person is finished, give everyone time to share their timelines. If the club is especially large, break into groups of no more than 10 people for the sharing time.

After everyone has shared, tell the members that their timelines do not end today. They have ample opportunity to contribute to their club, the community and other organizations. Discuss the club’s planned service activities, and make sure everyone is excited about participating.

2- Role models & anti-role models

Time: 15–20 minutes

Purpose: Promote leadership



Ask everyone to take out a sheet of scratch paper and draw a line down the center. Ask them to think about their role models and create a list of characteristics of role models (i.e., organized, fun-loving, inclusive, caring, accomplished, etc.).

Now ask them to think of their anti-role models. Without naming names (very important), they should write down the characteristics of those anti-role models on the other half of their paper.

Now divide the club in half. Give each half some flipchart paper and markers. Assign “role models” to one half and “anti-role models” to the other half. Ask each half to create a master list of these traits.

After 10 minutes, ask each half of the group to share their results with the entire club.

Finish by talking about the importance of acting like role models and leaders for your club, school and community.

3- The 20 loves list

Time: 15 minutes

Purpose: Schedule prioritization



Each member will need a piece of paper and writing utensil. Ask your members the following questions: Do you ever wonder where your time went? Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you look at your day and wonder whether you did anything you really enjoy? Well, it’s time to take back your life and prioritize your loves!”

Step 1.
Write down 20 things that you love (may include people, activities, etc.).

Step 2.
Put an “A” next to anything that can be done alone.
Put a “$” next to anything that costs money.
Put a “W” next to anything that you can do at work.
Put a “Y” next to anything you can do only during certain times of the year.
Put an “*” next to anything that you have done in the last week.

Step 3.
Look at your list and reflect on whether you’re giving enough attention to the things you love.

Step 4.
Think of how you can complete three things you love—but that you normally don’t get to do— within the next week.

Step 5.
Take time out each week to give attention to the things you love. You may even rewrite your top 20 loves to adapt to your changing life.


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